HomeUIC Research Journalvol. 17 no. 2 (2011)

The Distribution and Relative Abundance of Medium-sized Arboreal Mammals at Mt. Mahuson, Mount Apo Key Biodiversity Area

Adorico M. Aya-ay

Discipline: Science



Arboreal mammals comprise the bulk of the diet of the Philippine Eagle Pithecophagajefferyi, a globally threatened bird species that is found only in the Philippines. Field surveys were conducted in Mt. Mahuson in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato Province from October 2009 to March 2011. The team concentrated on searching for Mindanao Flying Lemur Cynocephalus volans, Mindanao Flying Squirrel Petinomyscrinitus, Palm Civet Paradoxurushermaphroditus, and Long-tailed Macaque Macacafascicularisas these are the reported common prey items of the Philippine Eagle. The team conducted mammal surveys for a total of 48.38 observation hours in seven line transects with a total length of 14 km if connected end to end. The team was also able to gather data from opportunistic sampling and dialogues with parabiologists. Results of the transect surveys indicate that among these species, the Longtailed Macaques are the ones abundant particularly in the remaining forests at lower altitude (below 1300 masl), followed by the Mindanao Flying Lemur and Palm Civet. The Philippine Tree Squirrel scored only “frequent” whereas both the Mindanao Flying Squirrel and Pygmy Squirrel were found rare in the study area. This study tells us that lemurs are not the primary prey items of the nesting pair in Mt. Mahuson, a finding contrary to what is known that a large bulk of the prey items of the Philippine Eagle population in Mindanao consists of flying lemurs. This hypothesis could be tested with further assessment of the prey population and foraging behavior of the eagle pair in the mountain.